Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who served as Haryana’s chief minister from 2004 and 2014, gave the golden jubilee celebrations on Tuesday a miss.
He said he did not attend the event as he did not get a befitting invitation by the BJP-ruled state government and did not get a change to address the audience.
“The invitation extended to me for the event did not include my address to people from the stage. I am perturbed by the way the event was organised as the stage had only three chairs, one for the Prime Minister and two for the Haryana governor and the CM. I had sent a letter of my address to the people of Haryana to the CM but I don’t know if it was read out there,” Hooda told HT over phone.
The event did not register the presence of any prominent opposition leaders and Hooda’s letter too was not read out during the event. No other BJP leader apart from the PM and the CM spoke at the event either.
“I have not only been the CM for 10 years, but am the leader of the opposition as well. I should have been given an opportunity to address the people during the event. The organisers should have invited all political parties. Golden jubilee celebrations for the formation of Haryana should not be linked to any one party but to the state government and people. All political parties and their leaders should have got due representation to showcase the 50-year growth of the state as it is not just one party or individual who has contributed to the growth of the state. People going to the event should not feel insulted,” Hooda said.
Hooda said he had a word with the CM Manohar Lal Khattar Khattar who confirmed that only three persons would be allowed to address the audience.
The former CM will, however, attend the golden jubilee event at the state assembly on November 3 in which the speaker has invited leaders of all political parties. “There I will have an opportunity to speak on the history and growth of the state,” Hooda said.